Technology and the self


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Photo by Richard Kalvar/Magnum Photos

Essay/
Language and linguistics
The space between our heads

Brain-to-brain interfaces promise to bypass language. But do we really want access to one another’s unmediated thoughts?

Mark Dingemanse

Poster advertising the 1948 Superman series. Photo courtesy Getty Images

Essay/
Stories and literature
Supermensch

Superman et al were invented amid feverish eugenic speculation: what does the superhero craze say about our own times?

Iwan Rhys Morus

An aerial view shows a typically busy Wuhan, in China’s central Hubei province, deserted amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak that originated in the city. 27 January 2020. Photo by Hector Retamel/AFP/Getty

Essay/
Technology and the self
Collaborators in creation

Our world is a system, in which physical and social technologies co-evolve. How can we shape a process we don’t control?

Doyne Farmer, Fotini Markopoulou, Eric Beinhocker & Steen Rasmussen

A screen demonstrates facial-recognition technology at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai, China, on Thursday 29 August 2019. Photo by Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Idea/
Technology and the self
How Confucius loses face in China’s new surveillance regime

Philip Ivanhoe

Photo by Raghu Rai/Magnum

Essay/
Technology and the self
Privacy is power

Don’t just give away your privacy to the likes of Google and Facebook – protect it, or you disempower us all

Carissa Véliz

A screen shows a demonstration of SenseTime Group Ltd’s SenseVideo pedestrian and vehicle recognition system in Beijing, China, on Friday 15 June 2018. Photo by Bloomberg/Getty Images

Essay/
Computing and artificial intelligence
Moral technology

Self-driving cars don’t drink and medical AIs are never overtired. Given our obvious flaws, what can humans still do best?

Paula Boddington

Photo by Carre Philipe/Getty

Essay/
Technology and the self
Who pushes the button?

From elevators to iPhones, the rise of pushbuttons has provoked a century of worries about losing the human touch

Rachel Plotnick

Recently discovered prisoner writings on the wall of Lyon’s notorious Montluc prison from which résistant and historian Marc Bloch was taken and executed by the Nazis on the night of the 16 June 1944. A noted historian, Bloch wrote: ‘The task of the historian is understanding, not judging.’ Photo by Bony/AP/Rex

Idea/
History of ideas
The empathetic humanities have much to teach our adversarial culture

Alexander Bevilacqua